Tribal leaders of Te Whanau-a-Apanui in eastern Bay of Plenty plan to attend a judicial review in connection with an iwi challenge to the granting of an oil exploration permit.
The High Court in Wellington has awarded the iwi, together with Greenpeace, a review of the government's decision to allow Brazilian oil company Petrobras to explore for oil in the Raumumara Basin off East Cape.
A defended hearing is scheduled for 5 June 2012.
Court documents show the Crown will deny there was an obligation to consult with the tribe about granting a permit to Petrobras.
The tribe and Greenpeace are seeking an order to quash the five-year permit.
Te Whanau-a-Apanui spokesperson Robert Ruha says the iwi is pleased with the legal process so far.
He says it's one of many strategies the tribe has to stop deep sea oil exploration.